A woman talking on the telephone, standing in front of a window.

Business phone features can help you stay connected and work more efficiently, wherever you are.

A phone system used to be just that — a collection of telephones that made and received calls without a lot of extra phone features. Yet this definition is far from the reality you currently live in. It’s too bad that no one has come up with a catchy new term that makes more sense, but maybe you can finally come up with one today in your free time.

Voice calls are actually much less frequent now, and the phone has taken on many more new and innovative roles. Small businesses that think of their business phone systems primarily for voice are seriously missing out on many opportunities to increase productivity and provide a higher level of service to their customers.

By using a cloud-based communication system, the telephone system is not physically installed at a location, which allows employees to access telephone functionality and features regardless of where they are. Cloud-based phone systems help employees be more productive, since they are afforded the flexibility of not being tied down to their desk in order to conduct business.

Are you looking for ways to save? Here are four phone features to use today:

1. Transcribe Voicemails

People tend to ramble on voicemail (but not you, of course). When you get a voicemail, you just want to know the main point immediately.

A phone system with visual voicemail can transcribe messages into text and send them right to your email. No more standing in a hallway outside a restaurant straining to hear a soft-spoken caller amid noisy sports fans cheering in the background. You’ll have the facts when and where you need them.

2. Take Your Business Phone System with You

Say you’re leaving a client meeting and walking to the train. You’ve been tasked with coming up with a brilliant solution to your client’s problem before you get back to your office so you can demonstrate how awesome your company is. To do this, you need your best brains on the job.

With a modern, cloud-based business phone system, you can pull out your smartphone, open your mobile app, and have access to all the same calling features you have in your office, such as conference call services. Three touches of a button later, and you’re talking to your team and brainstorming solutions — all before you even leave your client’s ZIP code.

3. Use a Virtual Receptionist

Even if your company has living and breathing receptionists, they’re human. This means they have to go to the bathroom, take lunch breaks, and occasionally even go on vacation. Oh, and big surprise, they probably go home at night. However, your customers really don’t care.

By using a phone system with a virtual receptionist, customers are greeted with up-to-date information and can be seamlessly routed to the right employees to solve their problems — no matter if your receptionist has the stomach flu or is laying on the beach drinking fruity drinks with paper umbrellas.

4. Teleport People Around the World

Well, not really, but wouldn’t that be nice? A phone system can do the next best thing through video technology, which makes people feel like they’re in the same room even if they’re time zones apart. When it comes to teams collaborating on a project, in-person meetings are sometimes the best solution. Unfortunately, costs and schedules often make in-person face time impossible.

With video conferencing, you can see caller’s faces and read their body language– no expensive plane tickets or lousy airport food required. You can have an almost face-to-face meeting with people from multiple locations and get the job done.

Voicemail transcription, mobile apps, virtual receptionist, and video conferencing are just the beginning. A modern, cloud-based business phone system chock full of features can help improve communications and boost efficiency in your office.

Do you want to learn more about business communication systems? Visit Vonage Business.

About Jennifer Goforth Gregory

Jennifer Goforth Gregory is a technology freelance writer specializing in B2B and telecommunications topics. She has written for national brands including IBM, Samsung, ADTRAN, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Verizon, Costco and American Express. One of her superpowers is being able to translate technical speak from the experts that make products work into language everyone else can understand. Jennifer has a master’s degree in technical communication and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.

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